Letters of the week June 28, 2024

Red Cross refugee support

Dear Echo News,

Right now, we are witnessing the highest levels of human displacement on record. More than 114 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced because of persecution, conflict, violence, and human rights violations.

Within this mass movement of people fleeing danger, many seeking safety fall through the cracks. In 2023, the number of registered missing people globally was 212,000. This is not just a statistic, it represents well over 212,000 families, friends, and loved ones living in constant limbo, uncertain about the fate of someone they deeply care for.

This is a global issue of enormous proportions, and sadly, there are thousands more who remain unregistered.

Every hour however, the fate or whereabouts of one missing person is clarified with the help of the global Red Cross Red Crescent Restoring Family Links (RFL) network.

The RFL service has been running for almost 110 years in Australia, and every day we see the great power in restoring family connection.  This week during Refugee Week, we take the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of people with refugee backgrounds and reflect on the importance of their connection to family.

If you’d like to find out more about RFL, or if you want to talk to one of our team at Australian Red Cross about helping you find a missing loved one overseas, visit redcross.org.au

Nicole Batch

Australian Red Cross


Thanks for tough new gun laws

Dear Echo News,

There are now, eight new firearms categories for West Australia.

Thank you, WA Premier and Police Minister for making the toughest firearms laws in Australia.

These new laws are to keep the community safe and are not revenue raisers.

Individual - 10 for competitor, five for hunting, paintball unlimited, 10 for primary producer, business - unlimited, collector - unlimited, club - unlimited, range - unlimited, trade - unlimited, government - unlimited.

Yes, in my opinion, the new gun laws will make West Australia a lot safer.

How many of the estimated 50,000 unlicensed and illegal firearms held by criminals have been handed in, during the firearms buyback?

Name & Address supplied


Climate picnic in the park

Dear Echo News,

Thanks to the Perth Hills Climate Change Group (PHCCG) for organising the Climate Picnic in the Sculpture Park, Mundaring, on   June 16.

For the first time, PHCCG had called out to other community groups across the hills, to come to the picnic to network and share what actions they make, that help mitigate the climate crisis.

It was  inspiring to network with new folk and hear what ‘climate action’ they are up to in the hills.  Apart from PHCCG members, there were representatives of an interesting range of other community groups.

Nannas for Native Forests sported the leaf brooches that the nannas sew together at Mojos Cafe Mundaring, every first Saturday of the month, while chatting over coffee and cake, about forests and climate impacts, with all ages who visit Mojos.

Jarrah Friends brought an arty community poster petition requesting  our federal and state leaders to support the communities and shire councils of the northern narrah forest belt, to obtain UNESCO listing as a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve.

Folk of WA Forest Alliance and the Wilderness Society,  raised issues impacting our climate, including mis-burning forest management practices.

A new group forming to combat this threat to Lake Leshenaultia,  via eco-science education, is debating whether to call itself ‘Save Lake Leschenaultia’ or ‘Ecologise Lake Leschenaultia.’

The Glen Forest Community Garden, (GFCG) message is that “co-creating with nature” improves climate, while battling nature results in less biomass and more pollution; the two primary causes of the climate crisis.

Natural Resource Protection Group (NRPG), Bushcare Kalamunda, eco-community gardens, and becoming a Biosphere, all pursue the LEN Principles; localise, ecologise and naturalise, which results in reversing negative climate change.

Save Scott Reef was a reminder that all major ecologies are linked in how their biomass affects weather and climate.

Homelessness advocates shared the role of housing construction in mitigating the climate crisis.

Home-educators are very interested in the Jarrah Friends’ roll-out of Jarrah Ecology Science education, across all sectors of the community, for everyone from pre-schoolers to governors.

Parents for Climate was set up to quell the anxiety parents currently feel about the future of the planet for their children. They train their parents into knowing about climate issues and solutions, and how to campaign for change, and were collecting signatures for a petition to install solar panels on school roofs.

The Community Independence Project (CIP) aims to educate community members in how to become voters and independent governors, who are fully informed in both political processes, and in the issues - including the Climate crisis - that matter to their region and constituents.

Discussion was also made of how to design and implement a kind of umbrella group, training and resource centre, like a one-stop shop for all the community groups in an area; eg a ‘Community Groups Centre, Perth Hills’.

There were no formal presentations at the Climate Picnic; just folk chatting to one another. So there could have been other groups or sectors represented there, that I did not bump into.

Wouldn’t it  be great if this idea expanded into a climate action convergence in the Perth Hills, with group and scientist presentations, plus open debate?

S Braun


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